International Finance Centre (IFC)
Updated: Jun 20, 2021
Structure: International Finance Centre (IFC)
Location: Central, Hong Kong
Architect: César Pelli & Association Architects
Executive Architect (Cladding): Adamson Associate Architects
Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Photography: Luke Poon and Carsten Chow
The International Finance Centre, abbreviated as IFC, towers above the waterfront of Hong Kong’s Central District. With Central being Hong Kong’s central business district, it makes sense that the International Finance Centre stands there in its glory. With the stunning views of the Victoria Harbour, the International Finance Centre is not only an integral commercial building to the finance industry but also an inspirational environment for the financial businessmen working there.
The International Finance Centre was initially proposed in 1996, and One IFC was opened in December 1998, towards the end of the Asian financial crisis. While Two IFC was completed in the height of the SARS epidemic. The IFC Development also consists of the Four Seasons Hotel building, and is the final station of the Airport Express line which connects the city centre with the Hong Kong International Airport.
As a formidable landmark in Hong Kong’s already impressive skyline, IFC consists of 2 skyscrapers, the IFC mall and 55-storey Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Tower 2 is hailed as the second tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong looming at a height of 415m, behind the International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon. The complex is easily accessible by all forms of transport. It is situated atop Hong Kong station, which is connected through 2 pedestrian tunnels. There is also a taxi stand near the entrance of the Hong Kong metro station, allowing for convenient access between the city and IFC. Furthermore, the Central Ferry Piers are located within walking distance, where visitors can take a trip on the Star Ferry.
Designed by the famous architect Cesar Pelli, One and Two IFC are the heart of Hong Kong's highly esteemed business district and the home to many international financial institutions. The 2 towers project strength in the classic skyscraper tradition. With nearly three million square feet of superlative office space, the International Finance Centre is able to house thousands of people daily for leisure and work. When the imposing Two IFC is lit up, the building's finials transform into a vibrant beacon, lighting up the evening sky and symbolises the city’s enduring economic and financial spirit.
The International Finance Centre is definitely an icon in Hong Kong, towering over the Victoria Harbour and shadowing all the other buildings in its near vicinity. Looking at the buildings from afar, you can see that tower 1 is a mini version of the more muscular tower 2. There are windbreakers installed on the facade of the 2 buildings, allowing them to withstand the summer typhoons in Hong Kong. The facade of the building flows up from the base to the very top, slowly decreasing in size before ending with teeth-like trusses emerging from the top.
As the largest shopping mall on Hong Kong Island, The International Finance Centre Mall, or IFC Mall, is the home of more than 200 shops, including notable international fashion brands like Armani, Prada, Hugo Boss and more. Lane Crawford has even established its flagship store in the mall. The IFC Mall also accommodates a cinema and many exceptional restaurants with a view of the Victoria Harbour. However to many of the local students and businessmen, the most prominent feature of the IFC Mall is the podium roof garden. Given the impeccable view the IFC Mall has over Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s skyline, crowds gather atop the IFC Mall to escape the bustling city. Apart from the lush greenery and fountain, the rooftop features strong architecture design codes, from firm overhead bars that form shades from the sun to modern glass houses that shelter the numerous restaurants.
Guarding the Victoria Harbour, the International Commerce Centre will definitely continue to serve Hong Kong with Grade A office spaces, a gigantic mall, and as a Hong Kong landmark.
hongkong.net (2021) IFC Mall , Available at: https://www.hongkong.net/shopping/ifc-mall.html (Accessed: 24 April 2021).
ic magazine (2018) Set Free, Available at: https://www.ifc.com.hk/ic/article/set-free-ifc-rooftop-editorial (Accessed: 24 April 2021)